YMCA Mosaic Completed in Downtown New Britain
On Saturday, July 14, the public took part in a celebration for the completed 48-Hour YMCA Mosaic in downtown New Britain. The tile mosaic, which can be seen on the outside wall of the New Britain-Berlin YMCA on High Street, has been a work in progress for the past six months. Over 200 individuals volunteered before, during, and after the initial 48-hour period, joining in whenever help was needed and working together to build a piece of art that the New Britain community can be proud of.
Director of CCSU’s Community Central Hannah Hurwitz has served as one of the main coordinators for the project since its inception and has spent countless hours putting it together with members of the community. CCSU Professor of Art Jerry Butler has also been a driving force behind the project, creatively and logistically. He was an original member of the organizing committee for the project and was actually responsible for designing the image for the Mosaic. The pair presented the Mosaic to the public during the ceremony, which included a variety of entertainment acts including a poetry reading and speech. The Xochiquetzal Mexican Folkloric Dance Troupe performed in their trademark elaborate costumes, and Boston native DJ Sun One performed after the ceremony.
The Mosaic, says Hurwitz, will serve as a lasting piece of public art for the community, by the community. Several representatives from community arts and culture organizations, including Hurwitz, Butler, and George Rosado, began meeting monthly to discuss the project and help keep planning on course. With very little financing, the project depended on local companies for tile and adhesive donations, advice and volunteer services from skilled construction workers and tile experts, and many hours of effort from community members.